15 Replies Latest reply on Oct 26, 2009 6:03 AM by fabiosmith

    Some issues

    justinh

      1.  I'm going to keep harping on this one - being unable to search on subnet fields (like location and comment) is a really "Bad Thing (TM)".  Since we don't allocate IPs, we allocate subnets, that's where we put our information.  Finding out after the fact that all that work doesn't do us any good when it comes to looking customers up is making it hard for us to use this tool as we need to.

      2.  When a supernet in the tree is collapsed, and I click on a subnet on the right, expected behavior is for the tree to expand and the subnet to be viewed.  As it currently stands, the only thing that happens is the box next to the subnet becomes checked.  On the other hand, if the tree on the left is already expanded and I click on the subnet, I get the expected behavior - the subnet becomes selected in the tree view and I'm shown the contents of the subnet on the right.  Is this the designed behavior or a bug?  I use the most current version of Firefox (currently 3.5.3).

      3.  When I shrink a subnet, the last (broadcast) IP in the block doesn't get set to reserved.  Is this to avoid loss of data issues or is it a bug?

      In case you missed it the first few times, #1 is really important to me.

      Thanks again for all your hard work.

        • Re: Some issues
          bshopp

          #1 - understand, this is something I have up on my priority list

          #2 - What version are you on?  Maybe I am not doing the right set of clicks as you, but with 1.5 in IE I click on the top level folder then in the right pane select supernetA, it opens the supernet in the tree and then I select a subnet in the right pane and it highlights it in the tree

          #3 - ok I see this too, looks like a bug I will get this filed

            • Re: Some issues
              justinh

              Hi Brandon,

              Regarding #2 - I'm on 1.0.1 because I'm just not ready or willing to upgrade to 9.5 yet.  I was mildly disappointed (but not surprised) to see that I couldn't upgrade IPAM until I upgraded Orion.

                • Re: Some issues
                  bshopp

                  Sorry, we don't do it on purpose or to put you in a weird spot, IPAM 1.5 required some changes to Orion in order to enable alerting functionality we added to the 1.5 release.  What is your hesitation on moving to 9.5?

                    • Re: Some issues
                      justinh

                      Some of it has to do with the large number of upgrade issues I've seen, and some of it has to do with not wanting to make changes in the software while we're working on changing the infrastructure.

                      Also (since you asked), I have a personal issue with being forced into changing interfaces for what, from the outside, looks like no good reason.  Too many Microsoft years under my belt to appreciate those kind of heavy handed tactics.  Perhaps if I had been expecting it to happen, I'd be more favorably inclined toward the change, but if there was an announcement pre-release that you were taking away my existing tools, I didn't see it, so I really wasn't prepared for it.

                        • Re: Some issues
                          bshopp

                          Can you expand on this item please? 

                          Also (since you asked), I have a personal issue with being forced into changing interfaces for what, from the outside, looks like no good reason.

                            • Re: Some issues
                              justinh

                              I'm referring to the move from System Manager to the web interface, which up to this point has been slower for me.  Also, by its very nature, it's a less usable interface overall.  Obviously, you folks have made the decision that portability and a single interface are a more important target than usability, so I just have to deal with that.  The only way I have to deal with that is by making my own decision on when I'm going to upgrade to that version.

                              Hopefully that covers everything.

                                • Re: Some issues
                                  bshopp

                                  This is good, thank you for the info Justin.  In SP4 we added paging control to web node management, which has helped a lot of people with performance, but we recognize we need to do more there.  I disagree with your statement that we are not focused on usability there.  We do care about this and have been listening to the community feedback on this topic and working on how we can make this better.  Any ideas and feedback on what we can do, what use cases are hard to do or clunky, please let us know.

                                    • Re: Some issues
                                      justinh


                                      I disagree with your statement that we are not focused on usability there.

                                       



                                      That's not what I said.  I (poorly) stated that someone there made the decision that the advantages outweighed the disadvantages of moving to a web-based application.  Until the way we deliver web content changes, one of the biggest disadvantages of a web app will be usability.

                                        • Re: Some issues
                                          bshopp

                                          I would love to be able to get on a web conference with ya'll sometime soon and chat about this further, so we can learn and see exactly the problems and then work on those.  Let me know if this is something you are open to.

                                            • Re: Some issues
                                              justinh


                                              I would love to be able to get on a web conference with ya'll sometime soon and chat about this further, so we can learn and see exactly the problems and then work on those.  Let me know if this is something you are open to.

                                               



                                              Absolutely.  Web or phone, or if you're in town, I'm game.

                                        • Re: Some issues
                                          denny.lecompte

                                          by its very nature, it's a less usable interface overall.

                                          Can you elaborate?  Other than speed (which as Brandon said, we've addressed in SP4), what's less usable?

                                            • Re: Some issues
                                              JesperVestergaard

                                              Hi

                                              I fully agree with Justinh about the system manager. The web console is slow, and it just not feels right when managing a node - One is the renaming of interface / nodes (yes.. Know you can do that in the webconsole), another is the poll this node (yes.. know i can get that in the web interface also) and stuff like changing snmp strings, IP addresses, SNMP version etc - i´s simply more "native" to manage in the system manager for this stuff. (and... MORE FAST!)

                                              Now, if the web console ALSO provided some "user access rights" lige user x is allowed to manage devices within this range or with that attribut (property) I could have seen the added value = i could have delegated responsebility to manage certain devices in certain areas of my network to someone else.

                                              Same goes btw for IPAM :)

                                              at the moment, i haven´t seen one single comment in Thwack that anyone "loves" the webconsole. ... Well.. We do! But not as a replacement of the system manager. It should be an add-on.

                                              Personally i fear for the day where all management of solarwinds is done in the webconsole - Especially in an enterprise environment, it will (based on the performance of today) un-doubtly be painfully slow

                                              For me, it would bring much more value to the environment, if you used energy on creating a "network atlas" kind of feature where I from MY desktop were alloved to connect to the SQL server, to manager the network. (as i´d imagine this could be programmed in "slightly better performing" code than the webconsole (?)

                                              Now, it´d not all bad.. even it might sound like that. I still think that you guys are delivering 1. class solutions to our (many) requests. My primary consern with that, is as justinh said, that in  the past, there has been a lot of upgrade issues.

                                              (I´m able to say past, as the upgrade to IPAM 1.5 went without one single issue needing support)

                                                • Re: Some issues

                                                  Hi,

                                                  I've got the 9.2 version of the Engineers toolkit, and the Network Sonar tool does an awesome job of finding subnets and scanning them quickly.  Only thing better would be to keep checking devices for routes as you go so you can find subnets that are summarized at WAN level.  We often break a Class B into several VLANS at a site, but is summarized at the WAN.

                                                • Re: Some issues
                                                  justinh


                                                   

                                                  by its very nature, it's a less usable interface overall.


                                                  Can you elaborate?  Other than speed (which as Brandon said, we've addressed in SP4), what's less usable?

                                                   



                                                  I want to stress that by "usability", I don't mean functionality.  I mean usability from the UI point of view.  "...it's a less usable interface overall" is in reference to the browser-style interface.

                                                  First, the lack of menus.  Granted, this can be done these days in web apps, but for now, I don't see any menus.  No menus means that all functions either have to have a button in the initial page, or you have to bring the user to a separate page and provide an interface for all functions there.

                                                  Second, in a single application like System Manager, the app loads and it's in memory.  With the exception of loading external data, all functions are directly available.  In a dynamic web app, you continually have to keep requesting and loading pages.  When working with more than a few devices or multiple functions, the extra amount of time involved can begin to add up.

                                                  Third, by removing the interface from the server, you're adding more to each function.  By more, I mean now I need to communicate and transfer data to/from the server.  Also, a web app is several abstraction layers higher than a natively compiled app.

                                                  Of course, the trade off is portability, the ability of more than one user to access it at one time, and putting all functions into a single interface instead of having them spread over multiple applications, to name just a few.  Somebody at some point made the decision that the pluses and minuses weighed more towards putting the interface in a web app.  Based on the information I have, I choose to respectfully disagree.

                                                    • Re: Some issues
                                                      denny.lecompte

                                                      I know Brandon is going to try to set up a 1:1 meeting, but I thought I'd comment on your 3 points because they're interesting.

                                                      #1.  Lack of menus is something we can do on the web.  In fact, we use a tool internally that has a slick context menu system using AJAX, so while we don't have it now, it's very much possible.

                                                       

                                                      #2.  Your issue is about requesting and loading pages.  That's something we can minimize.  It's about the efficiency of completing the task, which is another way of describing speed.  Speed is more than speed of loading pages.

                                                      #3.  Communication and data transfer and abstraction layers in the code.  This also boils down to speed.  If we made the execution of a task (from the user's p.o.v.) faster on the web, it sounds like we could meet most of your needs. I appreciate that you are skeptical, but we're quite confident that it can be done.

                                                       

                                                      Somebody at some point made the decision that the pluses and minuses weighed more towards putting the interface in a web app. 

                                                      That would be me.  The choice was to invest substantially more in System Manager or re-write it.  Keep in mind that System Manager doesn't do bulk actions, it can only show the contents of one poller, it can't be installed remotely.  It's pretty limited, even if it's faster at certain tasks.  Given some of the original code limitations, we would have had to rewrite it to get it to install remotely.  But even if we did that, it would still require every admin to install it on their desktop.  I talked to many users and did some surveys and it was quite clear that most users needed a web UI because they did not want to want to manage distributed clients. Sure, we could try to advance both a Windows UI and a Web UI, but that's very expensive, and it would cost the user community in terms of other features because it's all coming out of the same pool of resources.

                                                      I appreciate that for your particular set of needs, I made the less desirable decision. I (and the whole PM team) talk to a lot of users over the years, and not just on thwack, so we have a lot of data that supports our decision.  I really wish I could have crafted a solution that made everyone equally happy, but that kind of magic eludes me despite my best efforts.

                                                      Now, what I can assure you is that we are hearing enough complaints about the issue that we will fix it.  We won't bring back System Manager, but we will spend some effort on improving the web console usability and performance significantly.